Ray, Roger: Back in the early 1960's, not long after Hearst Castle was opened to the public as a California State Park, I interviewed for a position as a docent there. My credentials were praised in correspondence, and I went down to the Castle for an interview. A panel of four State officials and a member of the Hearst Family put questions to me. Representing the Family was George Randolph Hearst, Jr. Everything went very well until, at his turn, George Hearst asked: "And tell me, sir, do you believe that your presentation and guidance will have any political aspect?"
Always honest to a fault, I replied, "How could there not be? Just the affiliation of Hearst Castle with Orson Welles' Xanadu in CITIZEN KANE is bound to raise political interest. I should think that would be a primary appeal to visitors here."
A shadow fell across Mr. Hearst's sunny face. He thanked me for such a frank and interesting reaction.
Several weeks later, I received a letter informing me that I had not made the cut but that my name would be placed on the substitute list. Eventually, my name did come up, but by that time, I was too involved in teaching activities.
And so, I can attest that, twenty years after the release of CITIZEN KANE, ten years after the death of William Randolph Hearst, Xanadu may still have been of concern to the Hearsts.